US AG Gonzales: More campus guns aren't answer
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has your typical anti gun mindset.
Gonzales: More campus guns aren't answer
By TIM TALLEY
Associated Press Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday that having more guns on college campuses is not the way to prevent campus violence like the massacre at Virginia Tech.
Since the April 16 shootings that left 33 people dead, including the gunman, at Virginia Tech, some have suggested that the carnage might have been lower if a student or professor with a gun had stepped in.
"I don't think that is the answer quite frankly," said Gonzales, who was participating in a governor's task force to study safety and security on Oklahoma college campuses.
Instead, authorities should enforce existing laws concerning the ownership and use of handguns, he said.
"We can't guarantee complete security," Gonzales said. "We need to see what we can do as a government - on the federal level, on the state level - to ensure the safety of our students."
He said the government also needs to work closely to make campuses safe while still respecting individual freedoms and privacy.
"In a society where we really value individual freedom and respect privacy we're also concerned about public safety," Gonzales said.
The task force, which included discussions among law enforcement, mental health and higher education officials, focused on getting and sharing information about possible campus risks and how to respond to a campus attack.
"Is there additional information that we need with respect to individuals who may pose a threat to society?" Gonzales said.
In response to the shootings, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine signed an executive order requiring that anyone ordered by a court to get mental health treatment be added to a state police database of people barred from buying guns.
The Virginia Tech gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, had been judged a danger to himself by a court in 2005. But he was not added to the database because he was not committed to a hospital, instead he was ordered to get outpatient mental-health treatment.
Gonzales said authorities should know whether a mentally ill student may be prone to violence but their privacy rights should also be protected to avoid discouraging them from seeking treatment.
"We know that treatment is very, very effective," he said.
Federal officials must work closely with states to prevent and respond to threats, Gonzales said. "They know best what the problems are, and they know best what the solutions are," he said.
Number of guns irrelevant...
Gonzalez, who appears to be way over his head in his present role, makes the usual anti gun logical error of equating safety with the "number of guns".
It isn't the number of guns that matter, it is the nature of the people with the guns that matters. This is elementary, but every anti gunner seems to miss the point - more criminals and crazy people with guns is more dangerous - more honest, mature, trained people with guns is less dangerous.
The problem at VT was that all the honest, mature, trained people were disarmed by the school rules, so that only one crazy criminal was free to do tremendous damage. If we could just trust the normal licensing system in Virginia to do its job, the situation would be reversed. The crazy criminal would not qualify to even buy a gun, and the honest, trained, mature people would be armed and could protect themselves and their colleagues.
Why do supposedly smart people like Gonzalez have trouble understanding this?